In Runic Games’ biweekly dev blog feature, lead level designer Patrick Blank goes into some detail about what to expect from the more open world of Torchlight II.
Basically the open areas that tie the dungeons together are divided into two types: passes and overworld areas.
Passes are straight paths between two areas with a specific feel and theme to them. They will feature several random elements, but the overall theme remains set.
Overworld areas are large open spaces that players can explore. These are fully randomized in regards to dungeons and layout. Certain “landmarks” and quest specific dungeons will be constant from game to game, though their location will be random. To give an indication of size, Blank states that an overworld area is about three times the size of the largest floors in the largest levels of the first game.
The developer also promises more details and better lighting in the interiors as well as more varied dungeon layouts.
More details are sure to follow at E3. Torchlight II is set for release in 2011.